Yesterday, a housemate of mine lost his wallet. Two curse-filled hours later, he found it. Unfortunately, in his frustration, he'd left a wake of destruction of the magnitude generally reserved for natural disasters. Every time he loses his wallet, or his keys, or his cigarettes, he causes more property damage than the X-Men during a Sentinel fight. Once, a video game outsmarted him and he put his fist through the offending television. I'm still trying to figure out what the microwave did that upset him, but whatever it was, the result was identical. Maybe he thought the timer was some kind of odd counting game.
It was suggested to me by a new friend that perhaps this housemate has "an aggression disorder that needs treatment."
I know she meant well, but her response is just another example of the overmedication of society, something causing no end of troubles. Everything, it seems, is a "disease" or "disorder" now, necessitating expensive therapies, treatments, or medication. The list of conditions grows with every new day and behavioral problem.
Don't think, dear reader, that I don't acknowledge facts. There are a great many people who genuinely suffer from chemical and neurological imbalances that require a great deal of time, money, effort, and therapy to cope with. There are a great many people who live, daily, with conditions beyond their choosing or control, and these people deserve our sympathies and our aid as much as can be offered.
However, for ever one person who has a genuinely measurable chemical imbalance, there are many more that have simply been diagnosed, medicated, and charged for things that never required a doctor's hand in the first place.
Watching an episode of the animated television show King of the Hill a few nights ago that ties in wonderfully to this topic. Entitled "Junkie Business", it details Hank's inability to fire a drug addict because his lawyer states addiction is a disease, and therefore covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act.
I'm sorry, but I don't understand how an addiction can be considered a disease. Typically, with a disease, doesn't one suffer a condition without having intentionally introduced that condition to themselves? Something one can't simply will to end? One cannot simply decide one morning that their cancer is gone, or will themselves free of an autoimmune disease, can they? Yet, with addiction, isn't the prescription a detoxification and rehabilitation regime that teaches one how to overcome these "diseases" with willpower? Furthermore, one cannot even diagnose alcoholism or narcotic addiction without first willingly inducing those symptoms by partaking in the substance being abused.
The biggest issue with the "disease" concept is that it relieves the patient of all responsibility for their actions. If alcoholism is a disease, the drunkard can't be blamed for imbibing the intoxicants. If obesity is a disease, the overweight can sit back snacking on chocolate, secure in the knowledge that nothing they do will prevent them from remaining in their current state; a state they could improve by instead consulting with their doctors to find a healthy, medically possible way to lose weight. If "aggression disorders" are a disease, my housemate will simply pass the buck instead of owning up to his actions and learning ways to cool his head.
Perhaps I just suffer from "LUD" -- Logic Use Disorder, the complete inability to buy into illogical psychobabble and predisposition to promote logical solutions to real problems.